OPINION: The Big Question - Who would you nominate as the patron saint of public relations?

The Pope last week announced that in view of his 'moral integrity' Saint Thomas More - 'a credible role model for the politicians of today' - was to become the patron saint of politicians and statesmen.

The Pope last week announced that in view of his 'moral integrity' Saint Thomas More - 'a credible role model for the politicians of today' - was to become the patron saint of politicians and statesmen.



COLIN FARRINGTON - Institute of Public Relations

'I'm tempted to nominate Saint Jude, the patron saint of lost causes This is because huge amounts of sweat, time and money go into making a pitch, but not every pitch is successful and not every good PR campaign achieves the objectives or recognition it so often deserves. The same principle applies to advising clients. When giving professional advice, you can give the best, most salient advice in the world, but a client may not take it on board. This can be very frustrating, especially when you are proved right. But the big break will come, and it is very rewarding to rely on Saint Jude to answer your prayers!'



GAVIN DRAKE - Evangelical Alliance

'I would choose the Angel Gabriel, who was the ultimate giver of the big scoop. His infamous role of foretelling to Mary the birth of Christ is the ultimate 'I've got a story to tell you', so in that regard he would probably be the first spin doctor. 'Do not be afraid,' he told her, 'you're only going to give birth to God's son'. He was the chief messenger and at the end of the day, PR is about getting a message across. We have all had to deliver messages that we find difficult to believe or to stomach. Of course, Gabriel probably believed this message - he was, after all, sent by God. So he persevered with it and delivered it in a convincing and persuasive way.'



NORMAN WALLWORK - The Methodist Church

'There is surely a strong case for the Pope to declare Pontius Pilate the patron saint of publicity officers. Who more than Pilate put the carpenter-rabbi from Galilee on the road to being the saviour of the world? Pilate coined the greatest headline in history in 'Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews' and had it written above the cross in Hebrew, Latin and Greek so that it reverberated around the entire civilised world. Pilate was every promoter's dream. When the establishment objected to the placard, Pilate responded with his brilliant sound-bite, 'What I have written I have written'. If the death of Jesus was necessary for the founding of Christianity then Pilate was the man who made it happen. Pilate's final touch was to get himself written into the Apostles' Creed.'



CANON JAMES ROSENTHAL - The Anglican Communion

'I would say Saint Nicholas, whom the secular world has turned into Father Christmas. Born in AD 325, he was the Bishop of Myra, which is now in Turkey. He was persecuted for his faith under the emperor Diocletian. In England alone there are 400 churches dedicated to him and next to the Virgin Mary, he is the most popular and venerated saint of all time. He is somebody everybody likes and his sense of kindliness, honesty, fairness and giving symbolises what a PR person wants to communicate. He communicated his message better than any other saint that I can think of. He stands for all the things that any organisation or person would want to be said about them, so for me, he is the perfect representative of public relations.'





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